Nineteenth Century

120 High Street | Reading Room Home | Hours

The papers document the activities of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society, the first formal abolitionist society in America. Included are minutes from 1787 to 1916, and the society’s large collection of manuscripts dealing with abolition, dating from 1774 through 1868. More information is available online.

The papers consist of diaries, weather journals, commonplace books, reading notes and other material documenting the life, work, and intellectual interests of the Jamaican planter and slaveowner Thomas Thistlewood. Thistlewood’s 37 diaries, in Series I, contain daily entries dating between 1750 and 1786. Topics include Thistlewood’s work as an overseer, and later owner, of slaves, including his methods of assigning work, alloting provisions, and discipline; his personal and sexual relationships with several, including his lengthy relationship with Phibbah; and slave rebellions and rumors of rebellions, including Tacky’s Revolt (1760).

121 Wall Street | Library Home | Hours

A rare compilation about the Amistad revolt, published in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1839. Contains “a description of the Kingdom of Mandingo, and of the manners and customs of the inhabitants, an account of King Sharka, of Gallinas” as well as “a sketch of the slave trade and horrors of the middle passage, with the proceedings on board the ‘long, low, black schooner’, Amistad.”

1080 Chapel Street | Gallery Home | Hours

Richard Bridgens, West India scenery with illustrations of Negro character, the process of making sugar, &c. from sketches taken during a voyage to, and residence of seven years in, the island of Trinidad (London, 1836). Twenty-seven plates with accompanying text.

Joseph Bartholomew Kidd, West Indian Scenery: Illustrations of Jamaica in a Series of Views Comprising the Principal Towns, Public Buildings, Estates and Most Picturesque Scenery of the Island (London & Kingston, 1840). An extremely rare collection of 50 colored plates, produced during the transition from apprenticeship to full emancipation.

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